Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) combines aspects of acceptance and mindfulness approaches with behavior-change strategies, in an effort to help clients develop psychological flexibility. Therapists and counselors who employ ACT seek to help clients identify the ways that their efforts to suppress or control emotional experiences can create barriers. When clients are able to identify these challenges, it can be easier to make positive and lasting changes. Think this approach may work for you? Contact one of TherapyDen’s ACT specialists today to try it out.

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ACT is a powerful form of therapy that explores values, realism, challenging and changing mindsets, while also allowing us to take a step back and view the broader picture at hand. ACT will be used in session in a variety of ways and can be powerful when dealing with anxiety, loss, life transitions and growth.

— Raihaan Attawala, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Boston, MA

For me, mindfulness and acceptance go hand in hand. Acceptance starts with radical self-compassion and I am here to help you access such compassion for yourself holistically. ACT therapy works by focusing on accepting life experiences as they come, without evaluating or trying to change them. It's a skill developed through mindfulness exercises that encourage you to build a new and more compassionate relationship with difficult experiences.

— Sabrina Samedi, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Westlake Village, CA

I began my training in ACT in 2019, and have completed over 40 hours of continuing education, and additional hours of consultation in this modality. ACT stresses the use of mindfulness and acceptance to assist individuals who want to experience psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is the ability to stay in contact with the present moment regardless of unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, while choosing one's behaviors based on the situation and personal values.

— Julius Peterson, Clinical Social Worker in Decatur, GA

I have completed introductory training in ACT for depression, anxiety, and trauma, in addition to completing a number of advanced ACT trainings.

— Jed Blore, Social Worker in Seattle, WA

ACT accepts that pain and suffering are inevitable parts of living, and that negative thoughts and fears can co-exist with movement toward how we want to live our lives. My clients have deeply enjoyed discovering or re-discovering their values, and have been able to move past stuckness to committed action and psychological flexibility. When we observe how we are feeling, accept that it is happening and are able to view ourselves as separate from "the problem," we can commit to movement & change.

— Darcy Dittrich, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I began training in and using ACT as a primary modality of therapy in 2006 and have taught dozens of graduate students and supervisees about ACT in the subsequent years as well. My use of ACT interventions is individualized to client readiness and needs, and I often practice mindful awareness collaboratively with clients in session. Having been in consultation groups with multiple ACT therapists for many years has helped me continue to maintain and grow in this competency area.

— Miriam Gerber, Clinical Psychologist in St. Paul, MN

In ACT, we are identifying who and what matters most to you and then getting curious about the patterns we see arising (both internal and external) that guide you toward or away from what you define as a meaningful life. This approach utilizes a neuroscience informed understanding of the mind, mindfulness practices, compassionate acceptance building and committed action to make the changes you want to see in your life.

— Leigh Shaw, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA

I love Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and use it with my clients often. I use it to help clients achieve more psychological flexibility, decrease their struggle with discomfort, and be more mindful in general.

— Jennifer Kulka, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , CA

Acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT (pronounced like the word "act"), is a mindful approach to accepting the hardships in life to improve one's overall quality of living. It's a form of psychotherapy kindred to cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps people focus on the present and move forward from overwhelming, difficult emotions. While treatment time may vary from person to person, it can help diffuse the impact of negative emotions and reshape your thinking to treat depression, anxiety

— Jennifer Harvey, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Livonia, MI

ACT is my primary orientation and used in all of my work. I received graduate training in ACT and have taken numerous trainings/workshops led by ACT experts including Drs. Steven Hayes and Jason Luoma. Together, we'll work to identify the function of your behaviors and find solutions that better work in context of your life. Acceptance isn't giving up the fight, it's seeing how the game is rigged and refusing to keep playing the same way with the same outcome.

— Daniel Paulus, Clinical Psychologist in Philadelphia, PA

ACT is particularly helpful for clients who have a difficult time navigating and managing their thoughts and feelings. Rather than trying to change a client’s thoughts or feelings, I encourage clients to move forward through the difficult thoughts and feelings towards their desired goals, values, and healing. Through ACT, I help clients focus on what is really important to them in life and build the necessary coping skills to handle challenging times.

— Marissa Johnson, Clinical Social Worker in Boston, MA

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) combines aspects of acceptance and mindfulness approaches with behavior-change strategies, in an effort to help clients develop psychological flexibility

— Patricia Duggan, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Denver, CO

ACT is an approach to therapy that helps individuals shift their relationship with their internal experiences (thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories, etc.) by practicing awareness to the present (rather than feeling stuck in the past or worried about the future). ACT is an experiential approach that often includes building mindfulness skills, emotional and cognitive awareness, and exploring values. You will learn to effectively address stressors while building a meaningful, valuable life.

— Dr. Rona Maglian, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that stems from traditional behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives.

— Janie Trowbridge, Licensed Professional Counselor

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an action-oriented approach that stems from traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It utilizes acceptance and mindfulness strategies to help the client accept the difficulties that come with life.

— Paula Kirsch, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , MI

I work with clients to determine hooks, which are thoughts and emotions that have an impact on behavior. The primary goal in therapy is to teach clients how to accept parts of their lives that they are out of their control and work with them to create a life that has value.

— Mariam Saibu, Licensed Professional Counselor

ACT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It differs from some other kinds of cognitive behavioral therapy in that rather than trying to teach you to better control your thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other private events, ACT teaches you to "just notice," accept, and embrace their private events, especially previously unwanted ones.

— Dr. Jag Soni, Clinical Psychologist in Napa, CA